Kentucky, Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bills and More

In the days of the Armada, a fleet of warships, the scuttlebutt was the rumor or gossip that would spread throughout the ship. Today, Armada Law Corp presents The Scuttlebutt, a daily summery of news articles that people within the cannabis, hemp and plant medicine industries are chatting about along with links to the full articles.

In today’s news:

Why one town suspending cannabis sin tax could have a major impact

#cannabisindustry – ““The tax revenue generated through legalizing marijuana was the carrot dangled to tempt voters to vote in favor,” Maestri explained. “The current marijuana industry is built on private businesses who now face financial challenges, just like every other business trying to stay in business with our current economic setbacks.””

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Distressed Cannabis Companies Find Hope with New Bankruptcy Ruling, Potential Substance Rescheduling

#cannabisbusiness – “A recent court decision shows an evolving stance toward cannabis companies facing financial distress and seeking bankruptcy protection. Taken together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommending that cannabis be rescheduled to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), there is hope that cannabis companies will have the ability to take advantage of federal bankruptcy protection in the near future.

In September 2023, a California bankruptcy judge issued a ruling allowing the Chapter 11 case of The Hacienda Company, a cannabis company, to proceed over objections. This was the second time the court rejected dismissal motions by the U.S. Trustee alleging Hacienda’s proposed liquidation plan would facilitate illegal activity….”

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VA to Fund Research on Using MDMA, Psilocybin to Address Mental Health Disorders in Veterans

#psychedelics – “The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced new funding for research into the potential use of psychedelic substances to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in former military personnel.

The VA on Friday issued a request for applications from researchers and academic institutions on potential research into the safety and efficacy of psychedelic drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — and other compounds to address mental health conditions.

According to the VA, it is the first time in nearly six decades the department will fund such research and comes amid a growing but cautious optimism among the veteran community and Congress that the drugs, widely associated with illicit party culture, could offer breakthrough treatments for the unseen wounds of war and military service….”

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Kentucky, Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bills

#cannabispolitics – “Lawmakers in two of the 12 remaining states that have yet to legalize cannabis – Kentucky and Wisconsin – will have the option of approving limited reforms which could turn the tide, but both measures still have a long way to go before becoming law.

In Kentucky, Democratic Rep. Nima Kulkarni put forth a measure that would legalize the possession and consumption of recreational cannabis – including allowing home cultivation – but wouldn’t authorize cultivation or sale by private businesses. In other words, no real industry, Forbes reported.

A few hundred miles north in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers introduced a restrictive medical marijuana bill that both prohibits smokable cannabis and doesn’t have much room for a commercial industry. The measure calls for just five dispensaries statewide, all of which would be run by the state government instead of entrepreneurs, the Associated Press reported.

Both bills face significant political headwinds, with the Kentucky bill facing an uphill climb due to the GOP control of both legislative chambers, and the Wisconsin bill receiving a muted reception from the Democratic governor who had previously called for full recreational legalization….”

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Canada destroyed 3.7 million pounds of unsold, unpackaged cannabis since 2018

#cannabisindustry – “Canadian operators destroyed millions of packages of unsold cannabis products and a record amount of unpackaged dried flower in 2022 and the first half of 2023, largely because of years of imbalance in supply and demand, MJBizDaily has learned.

According to data shared by Health Canada, the federal cannabis regulator, 611.7 million grams (1.3 million pounds) of unpackaged cannabis was destroyed by licensed producers in 2022, an increase of nearly 44% over the 425.3 million grams destroyed the previous year.

The data suggests that Canada’s regulated cannabis industry continued to seek supply-demand equilibrium after licensed operators produced substantially more marijuana than what consumers were willing to purchase….”

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Marijuana sales more than double six months after recreational legalization in Maryland

#cannabisindustry – “Cannabis sales in Maryland have steadily increased, breaking records month after month since recreational use was legalized in the state six months ago.

According to the Maryland Cannabis Administration, the state has made nearly $700 million in one year from cannabis sales.

In just about five months, medical use sales went up by more than $200 million.

Adult use sales went from a few hundred dollars to more than $270 million….”

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Two-thirds of California marijuana labs can’t test flower after rule change

#californiacannabis – “Fewer than one-third of California’s 37 licensed cannabis testing laboratories began the new year permitted to test marijuana flower and non-infused pre-rolls, state regulators told MJBizDaily.

That’s because only 12 labs are currently compliant with a recent state law imposing standardized methods to test for THC potency, according to the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC).

Any labs that tested flower while not in compliance could face consequences, an agency spokesperson said….”

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Wash. Court Says Dormant Commerce Doesn’t Apply To Pot

#cannabislaw – “A Washington state federal judge has denied an effort to block the state’s cannabis social equity program from awarding retail licenses, saying that the dormant commerce clause argument advanced by an out-of-state litigant is likely to fail since pot is federally illegal.

In an order Friday, U.S. District Judge Tiffany M. Cartwright noted that the social equity scheme was intended to benefit Washingtonians who were directly impacted by cannabis prohibition, and that the balance of equities did not favor bringing the program to a halt.

The decision acknowledges that jurists have reached different findings on the issue of whether the dormant commerce clause, which generally prohibits states from enacting policies that interfere with interstate commerce, should apply to federally unlawful marijuana.

“While recognizing that courts around the country have split on the question, this Court concludes that Peridot is unlikely to succeed on the merits because the dormant Commerce Clause does not protect a right to participate in an interstate market that Congress has declared illegal,” the court wrote….”

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